Oxfordshire Barn Conversion

Designed by Joanne Alderson

The well trodden and pre-historic Ridgeway footpath lies just a short distance away with its far-reaching open vistas on either side of the North Berkshire Downs. In a house nestled within a nearby village setting this customer wanted a more intimate maintenance free retreat away from the wider world to relax and enjoy during both day and at night. The two principal features to this landscape were constructed with a rectangular theme in mind. Smoke-oak colour millboard decking has been used for the extensive flooring and contrasted by slatted cedar fencing for the two main garden fences that help contain the surrounding rear garden space. A stainless steel water feature, again with a rectangular theme, provides a focal point at the far end of the decking pathway for those seated in an informal area located immediately outside the house. Both relaxation and dining areas have been designed to be on one level. A step down to the barbecue area provided contrast and differentiation. Natural grey pebbles laid over a scalping and membrane base give clean texture contrast between decking and planting. Specimen shrubs, plants and small trees complete the design and include a porous pipe irrigation system installed during construction, including to the specialist basket held specimen containers placed to help with both natural screening and all year interest along one side of the garden. Cables and lighting form an integral part of the landscape works with an ability to be switched and controlled in groups - whether for way finding, specimen plant highlight or a burst of specular reflection from the water feature

Key Features


This wood-free material has an inherent anti-slip surface. It is UV stable and maintenance free. Hidden decking fixings were used and careful attention was paid to retain precision lines of mitres and horizontal / vertical symmetry

Planting & Irrigation

All new plants / trees were planted using a mixture of new topsoil and compost appropriate to each of the specimens. A simple porous pipe system was laid around new planting and beneath any weed suppressing membrane with water feed controlled by an automatic timer

Fencing / Screening

Horizontal timber screening was constructed in rectangular framed sections with hidden stainless steel screws used throughout to reduce the potential for timber discolouration